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Home Publications Infectious diseases Bloodborne infections Hepatitis C in the UK ›  Hepatitis C in the UK: 2009 report

Hepatitis C in the UK: 2009 report

2009 hepatitis C report cover


Health Protection Agency

Publication date: December 2009



  • All primary care organisations in England and Wales should ensure that integrated pathways of care are available for patients with hepatitis C (ideally coordinated through a clinical network).
  • Strategic health authorities in England should take the lead in supporting local commissioners to ensure complete implementation of the hepatitis C Action Plan across all PCTs in their regions.
  • Commissioners and providers of services for injecting drug users in Wales and Northern Ireland need to review their programmes to ensure that a broad range of prevention services (in addition to needle and syringe exchange) is available.
  • Primary care organisations in England should develop mechanisms for obtaining reliable data on the number of patients referred, seen and treated for hepatitis C.
  • Lead agencies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales need to urgently initiate expanded public information campaigns to raise awareness of hepatitis C.
  • Lead agencies in Wales and Northern Ireland should investigate the need for targeted public information campaigns to raise awareness of hepatitis C in individuals from the Indian sub-continent.
  • Commissioners and providers need to ensure that a high rate of testing in those attending specialist services for drug users is maintained. Lead agencies in all UK countries should ensure widespread access to testing for hepatitis C using alternative specimens (for example, oral fluid and dried blood spot).
  • Providers of prison health services should develop testing strategies and care pathways that allow equitable access to treatment services for offenders.
  • Lead agencies in all countries should assess the impact of awareness campaigns, by monitoring testing outside of high risk group settings.
  • National and local agencies should make efforts to understand and improve the completeness of routine surveillance systems for hepatitis C.
  • All commissioners of HCV services should evaluate the coverage of HCV testing services in their area and ensure that laboratories have appropriate pathways for referring samples for confirmatory testing.
  • National surveillance centres should develop systems for assessing and monitoring the incidence of hepatitis C in key risk groups. This includes injecting drug users, and if appropriate, HIV positive MSMs.


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Last reviewed: 13 January 2012